By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire has assured of Federal Government’s commitment to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Orelope-Adefulire added that despite the many challenges being experienced in the country, including insecurity, Nigeria is still well positioned to meet the SDGs, less than10 years, to the terminal year of 2030.
She called for an all inclusive approach to the nation’s quest to meeting Agenda 2030, noting that an enabling environment, devoid of violence and other forms of criminality which discourage investment and development efforts was required for the country to make meaningful progress.
The former Lagos State Deputy Governor spoke in Abuja at the “advocacy and capacity building workshop on SDGs mainstreaming at the sub-national level in Nigeria” organised by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the on SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Orelope-Adefulire said the SDGs are achievable within the remaining 10 years if all hands are on deck, in an enabling environment, devoid of violence and other forms of criminality which discourage investment and development efforts.
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She said the workshop for states’ representatives, “is a conscious attempt at supporting the state governments to prioritise mainstream the SDGs into their medium and long-term development policies.
“Due to the proximity of sub-national governments to the citizens, you have a better understanding of their specific needs and are better able to identify planning gaps as well as facilitate awareness of the SDGs,” she said.
Orelope-Adefulire, who expressed delight that Gombe State has unveiled its 10-year SDG-based development plan (the first in the country), said hr office was currently working with seven states -. Lagos, Akwa-Ibom, Zamfara, Plateau, Ondo, Kogi and Kwara – on the development of their SDG-based development plans.
The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Edward Kallon praised the OSSAP-SDGs for the initiative and noted that achieving the SDGs (Agenda 2030) requires inclusiveness and the participation of all.
Kallon, who stressed the importance of adequate funding for the success of any development project, said there was the need to be more creative and innovative in seeking funding for SDGs projects.
The UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria, Mohamed Yahaya, represented by the UNDP Senior Economic Advisor, Dr. Amarakoon Bandara, noted that an estimated 65 per cent of the 169 targets of the 17 SDGs would not be reached without the engagement of local and regional governments.
The first day of the workshop scheduled for between June 7and 9, witnessed the launch of the “Nigeria SDGs implementation plan 2020-2030.”